I accidentally put these out of order...sorry! It is so hard for me to believe that it has only been one year since we were in Korah. So much has happened since then. It feels more like 2 years ago we were for the first time. Visiting there has change our families life for the better.
It is also the one year anniversary of Aliya joining our family. This seems completely unbelievable to us. I love this picture of her.
If you look at this girl marching off the airplane, so full of confidence and boldness, ready to meet her dad, brothers, grandmas, aunts, uncles and cousins, you will know the teenager we live with today:) Independent!
This past year has been yet another faith building and stretching year for me. Who said adopting a 14 year old would be easy?? No one! We have learned a lot together in the process of growing together as a family.
We are and will continue to learn to trust one another. Even when you've been independent (and you can visually see that in the above pics!) you still need a mom and dad to instruct you and set boundaries. Ooh, this is a hard one!
I really cannot imagine experiencing as a young girl all the loss and changes this child has experienced. When she tells me about how she came to the orphanage, the decisions she had to make, the responsibility she shouldered...I am in absolute AWE of her.
I hope I'm not betraying anything she's told me by saying this but this really blows me away. At about age 13, she made the decision to come to the orphanage and take a chance on getting a family. SHE made that decision by HERSELF. Can you imagine being 13 and deciding to go to the big city - 5 hours away from the town where you lived to a place where you knew no one, didn't have any idea what they'd do to you when you got there, had no idea if a family would choose you, and then had no idea if they did choose you what kind of people they would be?? That is total faith. She felt like God wanted her to go there so she did.
I am so thankful God led us to her. Her faith was rewarded. God brought us together in His own amazing way. Only He could have orchestrated all of this: the timing of everything, how we were relentless even after our house fire when everyone told us to put the adoption on hold...too much stress (which it was!) but we felt God pushing us to press on. If we had taken that break and put the adoption on hold until we moved back into our house, she would have been very close to aging out with the 6 other girls and would never had the chance to have a family. To say it was a tough summer that year would be the understatement of the century! But...what if we didn't trust and listen to God? I shudder to think.
Every step, He sustained us and gave us the strength to go on. We would need that experience for when she came home.
We are thankful for our newest daughter. She is a blessing and will do big things in this world. She challenges us, frustrates us, inspires us, makes us laugh and makes us cry.
To think of where she's come from in one short year boggles my mind. From speaking very little English to the A honor roll at school. From eating with her fingers to eating with her fingers less;) From being an orphan to having a family. Even though we have a ways to go, much progress has been made.
Aliya, we love you and are glad you are with us.